California Members...Fires ??

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by DDD, Oct 22, 2007.

  1. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    This probably should be on the W.C. but I think all of us check
    on General regularly. I'm watching the television and the fires
    in California are so frightening.

    If any of our CD family needs support...we are here. I am sending thoughts and prayers to all the citizens of California
    who are living in fear today. DDD
  2. SnowAngel

    SnowAngel New Member

    Will definately add California to our prayers. I have family there too.
  3. Just keep swimming

    Just keep swimming New Member

    We are fine here in Northern CA. Very windy though and we are supposed to heat back up after about 10 days of cooler/rainy weather. Fingers are definetly crossed!

    Prayers being said for those involved in the area of the fires. This is a bad time of year for CA as the winds are usually pretty high and the weather isn't usually cool yet!

    Hugs and prayers,
  4. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Watch out for those hot winds off the desert. The other big problem is when the fires are this big, they create their own wind storm and this drives the fire all by itself, it becomes self-generating.

    You can't fight it when it's this big. All the usual rules of "Stay with the house, you will actually be safe there if you take precautions," are wrong, when the fires are this big.

    Pack an emergency bag even if you're not in danger right now. Think about what you would take, what you want to save. Photo albums, computer files (back up onto a thumb drive or burn to CD and put these into safe storage - bury them a metre down if necessary). This is all stuff you won't have time to do if they come knocking on y our door to get out. Grab your insurance details, your certificates, your diplomas, birth certificates, marriage certificates, cheque book, wallets, bank account details - think what you need. As i said, if you bury it, it doesn't have to be too deep. The fire burns up, not down. Earth insulates. Wrap it in plastic and ensure at least a foot (preferably two) of earth over the top. Mark the place with bricks. No metal, no timber. In 1994, we had aluminium road signs BURN. This fire is the same scale.

    And after the fires - be prepared for PTSD. Because of the problems with difficult child 3's birth so soon after our fires in 1994, it hit me hard and fast. I was getting a handle on it for myself when I watched the whole town slowly go down like 9 pins. A big part of this is the ongoing reminder, driving through mile after mile of devastation on a daily basis. You don't realise how much you need it until it's gone - you long to see a healthy tree and not hear the death-rattle of burnt leaves in the wind. You long to hear insects and birds but they're gone.

    So plan ahead, look after yourselves and your families.

  5. SnowAngel

    SnowAngel New Member

    Marguerite, those are great suggestions. We don't get much of mother natures wrath here, but I will try to get copies of important documents in case we need to get out quickly. House fires happen all the time. Then some states deal with tornados, hurricanes and earthquakes that leave a huge mess to dig through.

    I will add to your suggestion. Try to keep some water and easy to grab food just in case of an emergency. I know red cross is great, but it does take a while to get the food going at the temporary shelters.
  6. We're in S. California and although there is a lot of smoke, we aren't in danger where we are. Yet, at any rate. I wonder if some of difficult child's crabbiness is due to the smoke and/or the stress of something different going on. Thanks for thinking of us Californians -- it's always something here.
  7. mom_in_training

    mom_in_training New Member

    Yikes!!!! No danger where I am, I live in S.Ca. Will be taking my son to a GI Dr appointment tomorrow in the hopes that we can get there ontime. I'll be passing through the area where the fires are going on in Orange County. I heard that it took my ex brother in law like three hours to get to Orange today due to all of the road closures and freeway closure. Many had to take alternate routes so it really jammed things up. Thanks for thinking of us in Ca, Already have plans in place to evacuate our horses that are boarded. Hopefully we don't have to considering that there are no immediate threats where we are but geeze the way things are going you just never know. Anyone in Ca make sure that you keep your needed medications along with medical things and important documents in a duffle bag just in case you have to evacuate. I am adding my prayers....
  8. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Good point about the water - we filled containers, bottles etc. We filled the bathtub just before we lost the water supply.

    We were evacuated for three days but when we came home we were without water for a week. Our house was OK, nobody has lost houses although some were damaged - in other areas nearby, a lot of houses had been lost.

    For a week the only water we had was what we had saved. We didn't pollute the bathtub, we used it to refill water bottles. To get clean, we went to the beach and swam. Back home, we rinsed off salt and sand by using a washcloth in a bucket of water. We all used the same water until it was brackish.

    When you go for even a short drive, always carry your ID. With us, road closures happen increasingly often and ALWAYS happen during fires. We have had to show ID even for catching the boat home. They only let through the people who live there, to cut down on sightseers. We even had deliveries cancelled. Our general store had no deliveries for weeks, we had no milk supply, no bread. For us it was just before difficult child 3 was born, we'd ordered a new cot and we didn't get it for two months. difficult child 3 had to sleep in his bassinette until the cot arrived.

    Having an emergency kit is handy. Clothing - arms and legs covered, plus covered shoes. No synthetic fabrics, just natural ones. Keep a wool blanket in the car plus lots of bottled water. In the event of being caught in the open in the car, stay in the car. Park in a clear area or stay on the road. Turn off the motor, close all windows and vents, lie on the floor of the car and wrap yourselves in the blanket. And wait. Most fires will go past well before the car heats up enough to burn. And if the fire is bad enough to set the car light, you wouldn't have stood a chance out of the car.
    Too many people get out of the car and run, and die, because they didn't know that staying put would have kept them safe. It's the heat that kills, rather than the flames. Protect yourself from the flames, wrap in the blanket for insulation (that's why it should be wool) and the fire will probably roar through fast. It should only be about ten minutes before you can go again.

    Of course, it's best of all to not get caught at all.

    Every summer, we make sure we have the wool blanket in the car, and we're always topping up our bottled water. We try to keep two full pint bottles in the car for every person on board.

    Keep safe, everyone.

  9. My brother in law has a home on a cliff overlooking the San Diego bay. They are out of town right now, and we're all hoping for the best. This is the second time in the 20 years that he and his family have lived there that fires have been a threat. It's such a beautiful place , but it is always so very dry.

    I think it is always a good idea to keep a blanket and water in your vehicle. Years back my elderly parents got caught in a snowstorm crossing the mountain ridge near their home.They had to spend the night in their car, snuggling up with their coats and some old towels - no water or food. Afterwards, I bought them "space blankets" for their vehicles. They are of a light weight material developed by NASA that folds into a very small three inch square. The material is excellent at keeping body heat in or outside heat away. I highly recommend them.
  10. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    My brother and his family live in Stevenson's Ranch (Canyon Country) and when I spoke with him last night, about 7 my time, he said that some his neighbors at the other end of his development had been evacuated, but he was still there. I spoke with him a little later and he said it seems the winds changed a little bit and it was calming down a little around him. But, he said the danger continues over the next couple days because of flying embers.

  11. SnowAngel

    SnowAngel New Member

    My aunt said her swimming pool is covered in ash. Her first house is in danger of the fire as we speak..glad they moved. They said Magic Mountain was in danger too, which has me thinking of all the CA people who not only are displaced but now have employment due to their work place being consumed by the fire. I would imagine there will be a huge need for counseling with the aftermath of this fire.

    This doesn't even cover the effect it has on those with medical conditions worsened by smoke or stress. Even dealing today with 3 difficult child's and current school problems ,I know am blessed. We will continue to pray for California.
  12. BestICan

    BestICan This community rocks.

    We're fine here in LA although the air smells like smoke and everyone I talk to has a sore throat. The schools usually have PE and lunch outside but they've been keeping the kids inside due to poor air quality.

    My eyes and ears are on the news, and my thoughts are with all of those who are in danger.

  13. mom_in_training

    mom_in_training New Member

    Fire in Orange County is way out of control (Majesca canyon)But surprisengly the freeway was all go to and from where we had to go for my sons Dr appointment. Sure is smoky though and also was windy in Orange County verses where I am not being very windy at all but smoky with no fires near. My thoughts and prayers are with those affected.
  14. Marcie Mac

    Marcie Mac Just Plain Ole Tired

    Closest fire to me is Ontario, but I think they may have it under control. Last time it caught fire it looked like it had snowed there was so much ash on the ground.

    It was really really windy this morning and there was no getting away from the smell of smoke. SO has to stay in as its just a little too much for his lungs. Hopefully the winds will ease up by tomorrow..

  15. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I watched the news for awhile this evening and there was Tori
    Spelling & a number of other stars from DWTS whose homes are in
    danger. I believe it was Tori who said she had evacuated her
    home and Jane Seymour who said that her children had been taken
    to safety but her husband stayed to try to protect the house.
    With Florida hurricanes I am always amazed by the people who
    stay to protect their homes when evacuation is mandated or in
    some cases strongly suggested. With the capricious nature of
    fire......I honestly can't imagine staying at home when one
    quick change of wind could take you out.

    Yes, those Ca. residents need prayers for sure. DDD
  16. DazedandConfused

    DazedandConfused Active Member

    Interestingly, I live in an area that is known for it's high winds. It blows here a lot and that is why many people choose not to live here. Just last weekend it was really bad, my neighbors dough boy pool got blown into my back yard. It's those Santa Ana winds that cause the devastation like this.

    However, it's been so calm here since the winds have hit the coast and mountains. I'm about 100 miles away and there is no smoke at all being blown my way. The Sawtooth fire was last year and I can remember being fearful that it would come down the hill towards us.I think that burnt 80 thousand+ acres. We also had four fire fighters killed last year because they couldn't get out of the way of a firestorm soon enough.

    I'm a native to So Cal and earthquakes and wild fires are a part of the package. I remember wondering why they called the hot fall winds "Santa Ana", because there's also a city called Santa Ana in Orange County. As a kid I would wonder why "they" would name those miserable winds after a city.

    We have had years of drought. I live in the low desert and we are suppose to get 2 to 4 inches of rain per year. It didn't even register a .5 of an inch last year. It is so dry here, but we don't have the thick brush like Malibu and trees like up above Arrowbear lake. Thing is, especially with Malibu, if we do get lots of rain then there is going to be major mudslides because there will not be any brush to keep the soil from sliding.

    I just hope that the winds stop so the fire can be contained ASAP.
  17. SnowAngel

    SnowAngel New Member

    The news said the fire claimed over 1,800 homes and prompting the biggest evacuation in California history, The San Diego World Wildlife Zoo is threatened by it, although they have evacuated the more endangered species. This is so catastrophic. It is so crazy to watch this fire destroy peoples hopes, dreams and security. Please pray for the winds to die down.
  18. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    We live about 30min from the O.C. fires -- lots of smoke and dust in the air from the wind storm the past few days. sister in law lives about 5 miles from fire's perimeter, but it appears to be moving parallel to her, thank goodness. Lots of smoke and ash at her place.

    I've been a bit nervous as our neighborhood backs up to a rural state park that has had its share of brush fires over the years, one as recent as a year ago. Any time the winds kick up here like they have recently, and especially when there are fires in the area, we all keep a watchful eye. The one thing I dread during times like this is a copycat.

    My elderly and unwell uncle and his wife live about 3 miles from the 70,000 acre fire in SE San Diego county. We couldn't reach him Monday morning so my mom called the Sheriff's office to request they send a car to look in on them. Sheriff called back to say a neighbor had evacuated them that morning -- but we still haven't heard from him and he's not registered himself at any of the Red Cross shelters. Hoping he's being cared for wherever he is and that we hear from him soon!

    It's a crazy mess here in SoCal, and nervewracking to watch the news because they play on everyone's anxieties under the guise of providing an information service. Sometimes I find it best to turn off the TV and rely on the internet reports of state and federal agencies which tend to stick to the facts.

    My thoughts and prayers go out to all the displaced families and the brave firefighters and law enforcement who are working so hard for everyone.
  19. Marg's Man

    Marg's Man Member

    To us, in Australia, Bushfire is a way of life.

    Every state has a Rural Fire Service staffed by a small permanent crew and a vast number (over 70,000) of volunteers. Marg and I live in the Sydney region so this is page we have bookmarked:
    It has a large number of documents all with bits of advice on what to do and how to manage. We've grown up learning all this information and it is (mostly) second nature to us now, but our new-chum mates are often a bit overwhelmed.

    Check out the info on this site, especially if you are in a fire prone area, doubele especially if you are in an area that has planted a lot of eucalyptus trees; as I understand they have done in California. I hope that I am wrong about that - the thought of a firestorm driven by the Santa Ana winds is terrifying even 12000 kilometres (about 7500 miles) away.

    It's too late to be doing anything now but you can always get ready for the future.

    stay safe as possible,
    Marg's Man
  20. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Something I remembered, from the 1994 fires - you know how you see streets where a house gets missed, then a house is gone, then a few more missed and so on? They believe that what can happen is an ember in the attic space which smoulders slowly in any dust or papers up there.

    So, some ways to fire-proof your home - vacuum up the dust in the roof space, check that the insulation and flashing is keeping it well sealed up there, check the roof from the outside to see if it's well sealed and fix any problems.

    Some friends were away on holiday with their neighbours in 1994's new year, they saw the fires on TV and rushed home to see if their house was safe. Our friends got home ahead of the fires - they had seen the fires in our area on TV, which then moved into their area a few days later. So they were home and had done what they could. Jim was on his roof hosing it, he'd blocked the gutters and filled them with water. He did the same for the neighbours too, because they were still down the coast at the camp site. Then Jim saw the fire coming "like an express train," he later told us and jumped down off his roof (sprained his ankle, he later found) and jumped in the car which his wife had packed and ready.
    Their house was safe. So was the neighbour's. The neighbours came back three days later, saw their house still standing and breathed a sigh of relief. Then they went inside to check things out, dumped some dirty washing in the laundry, grabbed some clean clothes and headed back to the campsite, locking up the house again.
    They were only half an hour down the road when the house went up. The whole lot, gone. They didn't know until the analysis later, but during the fire storm some sparks had got into the roof space and into the dust, which had been smouldering so slowly there was no flame and little smoke. When they opened the front door three days later, the fresh air ventilated the house and fanned the smoulder in the roof into flame. The debrief afterwards had everyone scurrying to remove dust from the roof space.

    We'd be in trouble - all my old uni papers are stored in our roof space, assuming the cockroaches haven't eaten them all.

    The advice we've always been given, is to stay with the house unless it really IS too bad a fire heading your way; if you plan to leave, leave early. If you plan to stay to fight, make sure you know what to do and are well prepared. Jane Seymour's husband sounds to me like he has made a well-considered decision. Get the kids out then you can keep your mind on the job.
    In 1994, our neighbour on the edge of the fire front stayed with his house. His wife left but stayed within sight. We had left, because I was in and out of labour and we were cut off from hospital. Our neighbour had no running water - we'd lost our water supply hours earlier - but had filled buckets and his bathtub (as we did). He stood on his balcony all night and watched. And took photos. And stamped out fires with his feet. Embers constantly landed on his deck and would have burnt through and caught the house alight if he hadn't been there. It took about four hours for the worst of the fire front to pass, then the embers and spot fires were still a threat, for several days afterwards. The rubber soles on his boots melted from the heat and the spot fires in/on his house. He is convinced that if he had left, the house would have been badly damaged at least. And if that house had gone, it would have opened up a corridor for the fire to take out the north east corner of the town.

    We were lucky, but we also had good support and great teamwork. Apparently in years past, before we came to the town, there was a bad fire which had all the townsfolk on the eastern ridge flapping wet sacks all night to save the town boundary.

    I think the California fires are now way beyond the wet sack stage.

    But seriously - if you're anywhere likely to be at risk in the next week or more, get the vacuum cleaner into the roof space to remove dust, and check how well sealed the space is.